Week 4 Game Recap: Philadelphia Eagles 37, Kansas City Chiefs 31
What you need to know
The Philadelphia Eagles looked horribly out of synch in all phases of the game in the early action on Sunday. Their run defense was dominated as they allowed the Chiefs and Priest Holmes to march down the field for a touchdown on Kansas City’s first possession. On special teams they had a field goal attempt blocked, botched an extra point, allowed a Dante Hall return touchdown on a kick-off, and fumbled a kick-off that led to an Eddie Kennison touchdown – all in the first half.
On offense, Donovan McNabb had accuracy issues during much of the early going, as he missed numerous open receivers. Towards the end of the first half, however, he began to find his touch, as he hit Terrell Owens in the front of the end zone for his first touchdown. In the second half, McNabb found L.J. Smith and long snapper Mike Bartrum in the end zone for his second and third touchdowns, respectively. McNabb finished the day with 369 total yards in the air, his third straight game with more than 300 passing yards.
Among the Eagles’ receivers, Terrell Owens was McNabb’s favorite target once again. Owens found ample room to run against the Kansas City secondary, with a large portion of his 171 total receiving yards coming after the catch. L.J. Smith continued his emergence as a top fantasy tight end, notching 67 yards and a touchdown on nine catches. Brian Westbrook was held in check by the Chiefs, as he had just 48 combined rushing and receiving yards and no touchdowns.
After allowing the Chiefs to jump out to a 24-6 lead, the Eagles’ defense seemed to find the answer to Kansas City’s multi-pronged offensive attack. Aside from Dante Hall’s return touchdown, the Eagles’ defense prevented the Chiefs from scoring on eight successive drives, allowing the Eagles to put up 31 unanswered points.
On the heels of their lopsided loss to the Denver Broncos on Monday night, the Kansas City Chiefs started this game firing on all cylinders. Trent Green began the game eight of eight, and Priest Holmes seemed virtually unstoppable, as the Chiefs jumped out to an early 17-0 lead. However, this was a game of momentum swings, and in the end, four Chiefs’ turnovers proved costly, as Kansas City allowed the Eagles to score 31 unanswered points and snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. The Fox commentators noted that this was the biggest collapse in the history of the Chiefs’ franchise.
Priest Holmes broke off multiple long runs early in the game. He scored his lone touchdown of the day on the Chiefs’ first drive, a three yard goal line plunge. Larry Johnson struggled to find running room against the Eagles, and was also responsible for a costly fumble that led to an Eagles’ touchdown and set up their unlikely comeback.
Trent Green played well at times, but also made several costly mistakes. After moving the ball efficiently with accurate throws to Priest Holmes and Eddie Kennison, Green made a poor decision on a slant route that was intercepted and run back for a Philadelphia touchdown. He did find Kennison for a touchdown, and also found Dante Hall in the end zone at the end of the game. Hall also returned his sixth career kick-off for a touchdown. Tony Gonzalez was not a factor in the game.
What you ought to know
|QB Donovan McNabb, Pass: 33 - 48 - 369 - 3 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 4 - -1 - 0|
Despite being limited by a sports hernia and bruised sternum, McNabb came out throwing early and often against the Chiefs. He appeared off his game throughout much of the first half, badly missing open receivers on several occasions. Toward the end of the first half, however, things started to click for McNabb. After he threw a seven yard touchdown pass to a wide open Owens, he never looked back. Before it was all said and done, McNabb threw for 369 total yards and three touchdowns. His lone interception came on a long bomb to Owens that was slightly overthrown.
Foles came in the game when it was clear that it was over as far as the score goes and made the most of his time. He threw the ball quickly and well for 3 completions and 49 yards and a touchdown. The difference between Foles and Vick is that Foles can get the ball out quick and appears to have a better vision of the plays downfield.
Westbrook never seemed to get it going as either a rusher or receiver against the Chiefs. Kansas City did a good job neutralizing Westbrook in the short passing game, and prevented him from breaking free in the run game. Westbrook did catch a pass to convert a two point conversion.
|RB Lamar Gordon, Rush: 4 - 14 - 0, Rec: 2 - 33 - 0 (2 targets)|
Gordon was in the game in the first half primarily to protect McNabb in passing situations. His first carry of the game did not come until the third quarter, and he did not play a significant role in the offense until the fourth quarter, when Philadelphia was trying to run time off the clock. He did have two red zone carries, including a run up the middle from the one yard line that was stuffed.
Parry caught a 12 yard pass in the middle of the field for a first down for his lone reception of the day.
Mahe served as the second backup to Buckhalter since Westbrook sat the game out.
LeSean McCoy was the benefactor of Kevin Kolb’s inclination to throw quickly and short to his running backs against Washington. McCoy finished with a game high 12 catches and 15 targets to compliment his 64 yards on 16 carries. The checkdown passes were due to both the Redskins’ blanketing of deeper targets and Kolb’s inability to find open receivers down the field when they did get some separation. McCoy should continue to be a big part of Philadelphia’s offense going forward but expect his targets to decrease next week.
Polk took his redzone carry into the endzone on a 4 yard carry, finding the hole and lowering his head and making sure the ball broke the barrier. He made the best of his 5 touches today running strong and taking what was given to him. On his 28 yard run in garbage time he ran over a defender and took the ball downfield for a nice 28 yard gain. He showed glimpses that he could be a back that could see a heavy workload in the future.
Sproles first touch on the game was a 4 yard rush right up the middle. Sproles did his damage on a 82 punt return for a touchdown where he made a nice initial move near the right sideline and then just took off using his speed and found the endzone to put the Eagles up 21 - 10. On the next offensive possession Sproles had a nice 7 yard gain just showing his quickness going up the middle. Sproles then took a pass from Foles for a 6 yard gain as he was looking for room to break the play open.
Owens made big plays all over the field against a Kansas City secondary that seemed to have no answer for his strength and athleticism. McNabb threw an incredible 22 passes in Owens’ direction, which translated into 11 catches for 171 yards and a touchdown. Many of Owens’ yards came on short underneath routes on which he was able to break multiple tackles. Owens’ touchdown came on a seven yard pass from McNabb on which he was inexplicably left wide open in the middle of the end zone. Owens would have had even gaudier statistics were it not for a bad drop in the red zone and several poorly thrown passes by McNabb. Owens also had a 21 yard catch wiped away by an offensive holding penalty.
Lewis was targeted by McNabb six times, with the bulk of those attempts coming on deep throws downfield. On the first downfield attempt, Lewis was tripped up by the defender, but it was ruled to be incidental contact by the officials and pass interference was not called. Lewis was also overthrown badly on a deep sideline route on which he had beaten his defender. He did have a bad drop on a pass that went through his hands in the red zone in the fourth quarter.
Brown saw the most targets for the Eagles after Donte Stallworth sat out much of the second half with a hamstring injury. Brown dropped the first ball thrown his way and two other first half targets were uncatchable. He was able to make a 31 yard reception on the final drive of the first half. Brown might have had a 44 yard touchdown in the second half, but the defender interfered and Brown drew the penalty. He also had a 23 yard gain on the following drive. Brown was used on a double reverse early in the game, gaining eight yards on the play. He suffered a shoulder injury towards the end of the game.
Cooper had a couple of targets and made the best of both of them catching them both. He used his good hands to make the best of his opportunities.
Jeremy Maclin was held back by strong coverage by the Redskins and Kevin Kolb’s inability to look deep against Washington. Maclin had just two targets despite seeming to get open more often than that during the game. Expect Kolb and Maclin to get back on the same page next week if Kolb starts in Week 5.
Maehl had two impressive catches back to back, on the first one he had a 37 yard catch where he refused to get tackled as he dragged defenders with him along the way. On his second catch he went for a touchdown on a 6 yard quick slant pass from Foles.
Matthews had a 15 yard catch and run that was called back by penalty and then in a later drive caught an 8 yard pass for a first down and followed that up with another reception for just 4 yards. Matthews was looked to again on 3rd down and with 4 yards to go he made a 5 yard reception and made sure to collect the first down. Matthews had another 11 yard gain for an Eagles 1st down and continues to show that the Eagles can trust him.
L.J. Smith was McNabb’s second favorite target in this game, and he made the most of his opportunities. Smith made big catches in the center of the field, helping the Eagles sustain drives time and again. He also had an incredible catch for a big first down at the Kansas City one yard line on a ball tipped by the defender. His touchdown came two plays later on a play fake that left him wide open in the end zone.
The Eagles’ long snapper made the most of his sole offensive opportunity, finding open space in the back of the end zone for a pass from a scrambling Donovan McNabb.
Casey had only one target in the game in the first quarter and made the best of it with a 12 yard pickup over the middle of the field.
Celek was the primary receiving tight end since L.J. Smith did not play. Celek caught all three balls thrown his way.
Ertz had a drop early in the game and then made a great catch and run for 38 yards in the 4th quarter but it was when it really didn’t matter at that point. It was still nice to see and hopefully could be one of those plays that help his confidence going forward.
With David Akers inactive due to a torn hamstring, France made his NFL debut. After a nightmarish start marred by a blocked 41 yard field goal attempt and a botched snap on an extra point try, France came through with three clutch field goals. He hit from distances of 44, 37, and 26 yards.
After a bad start, the Eagles’ rush defense bunkered down and found a way to hold the Chiefs’ run game in check. They allowed 144 total yards on the ground, but the bulk of this yardage came in the first half. They also came up with a key Larry Johnson fumble that proved a critical turning point in the game.
The Eagles’ pass defense allowed several big plays early on, but ultimately found a way to contain Green and his receiving corps. A key moment in the game occurred when Sheldon Brown jumped a slant pass and took it to the end zone for the Eagles’ first touchdown. The Eagles sacked Green three times and came up with two interceptions.
|QB Trent Green, Pass: 19 - 30 - 221 - 2 TD / 2 INT, Rush: 1 - 3 - 0|
Trent Green began the game with pinpoint throwing accuracy, as he started eight for eight and led his team down the field on three successive scoring drives. Unfortunately for Green, it was a game of momentum, and once his team lost its momentum, he had great difficulty completing passes and moving the chains. Green did manage two touchdowns on the day, the first to Kennison on an eight yard slant, and the second to Dante Hall late in the game. His first interception came on a horrible throw that was returned for a touchdown. Green’s second interception was not his fault, as the ball bounced into the air off the chest of Kennison.
Holmes began the game on fire, notching 41 total yards on the first series, capped off by a three yard touchdown plunge. The second series continued with more of the same, as Holmes was able to gain large chunks of yardage to the left, right, and up the middle against the Eagles’ defense. At some point in the first half, however, the game changed, and Holmes struggled to find any running room thereafter. He finished the day with 84 yards on the ground and 24 yards receiving. Sixty of those 108 total yards came on the first two series of the game.
As is becoming the Chiefs’ custom, Johnson saw his first action in the backfield on Kansas City’s third offensive series of the game. He managed a few nice runs, but his performance was tarnished by a costly fumble at the end of the first half. The fumble, which occurred when Johnson was met head on by Jevon Kearse, let to a Philadelphia touchdown. Notably, on the Chiefs’ first possession following the fumble, Vermeil came right back with a running play to Johnson.
Cruz saw some action at fullback and in spot relief for Larry Johnson. He was twice handed off to while lining up as the lead fullback.
Backs not named Larry Johnson weren't all that involved in this game...Charles had two carries and caught both his pass targets, but total yards were negligible.
Davis didn’t get a touch until the 4th quarter and even then it was only a two yard run. He did come in to spell Charles in the second quarter and did a nice job in pass protection.
Gray had just one offensive touch in the game, but it came immediately following a Shaun Draughn fumble in the fourth quarter. Gray showed a great move in the open field to get a potential tackler to fall on his back, and picked up extra yardage. The fact that it came after the fumble could be nothing, or it could be significant. With Peyton Hillis still hobbled and primary backup Shaun Draughn coughing up the football, Gray could see a little short term spike in his playing time.
Jones unimpressive stat line may actually be more flattering than his performance actually was. After a couple of nice cuts on runs of 9 and 12 yards early on, he disappeared from the game plan for the remainder of the half. In the third quarter he had 3 carries for 3 yards, but was the back that got the ball inside the five. At the end of the game, needing a first down to seal the game, the Chiefs gave the ball to Jones for a one yard loss…and then put in Jackie Battle to put the game away, and he did. Jones looked like the slowest of the three backs (four if you count Cassel).
Kennison was Trent Green’s favorite wide receiver target. He had several nice catches on the day, including a 49 yard catch on a sideline route. Kennison’s touchdown, his first of the year, came on a quick slant on a perfect eight yard pass from Green. Kennison also had a 23 yard gain on a reverse. He did have a costly drop, which resulted in a Philadelphia interception.
Hall was both a hero and a goat in this game. He started things off on a positive note with a 96 yard kickoff return for a touchdown, the sixth of his career. However, in the fourth quarter Hall lost a critical fumble on a kickoff with his team trailing by three points. Hall’s receiving touchdown came at the end of the game with the Chiefs attempting to overcome a late 13 point deficit.
Boerigter’s only catch of the game came late in the fourth quarter during desperation time for his team.
Parker had no catches in the game and dropped one pass that hit him in the chest as he was coming out of his break.
Donnie Avery ran many of the same routes he did against Philadelphia with the main difference being that the Giants had him blanketed in man coverage on most of them. Avery dropped three passes on plays where he was either well covered or exposed to a big hit. His two catches came on a short slant against soft coverage and a perfectly placed short out with no defenders in the area.
Amazingly, the rookie was the only Kansas City wide receiver to see a passing target in his direction – and he registered a game high eleven. Not only that, but once the ball came in his direction, he knew what to do with it. He showed great athleticism on a tough leaping catch late in the first half, and some nice footwork after the catch to try and get a few extra yards. And the second half simply belonged to Bowe. He made a tough grab going over the middle and holding onto the ball despite taking a huge shot from the DB, and that was only his second best play of the half. With the teams tied at 16 and Kansas City facing a third down and 19, Huard found Bowe on the slant for a 51 yard scoring strike. It was nearly a carbon copy of the play the Packers used last week from Brett Favre to Greg Jennings that beat the Chargers, except this one came on the right side of the field. If Bowe’s performance in Week 3 wasn’t enough to alert fantasy owners to his impending impact, this game certainly will.
Gonzalez was a complete non factor in the Chiefs’ offense, marking the continuation of a disturbing trend for his fantasy owners. Gonzalez’s first target did not come until there were five seconds remaining in the first half. The TV commentators noted that Gonzalez was used as a blocker more than usual against the Eagles’ blitzing defense, although it also appeared that Gonzalez was unable to get open when he was used as a receiver.
It took too long but Fasano has finally taken a back seat to Kelce. He was shut out in this game and there’s no reason to think he’ll be targeted heavily again moving forward.
Kelce led the team in receptions and yards and looked like one of the best tight ends in the NFL. He did so largely by turning short passes into big gains. He turned a short hitch into a 33 yard gain to set up the Chiefs second touchdown. Kelce had great success on bubble screens in this game. On one screen he followed good blocking and stiff-armed a defensive back to the ground for a 14 yard gain. Later in the game the Chiefs ran the same play to the other side and Kelce made one defender completely whiff before running through an arm tackle for a16 yard gain. Kelce’s touchdown was one of his least impressive plays. The Chiefs ran play action and Kelce ran straight to the corner of the end zone. No defender noticed until it was too late and Alex Smith hit him with a two yard touchdown pass.
Sean McGrath is taking full advantage of his opportunity, leading the team in receptions and receiving yards in his second full week of action. He made catches in traffic, broke tackles after the catch, and caught his first touchdown pass. The touchdown pass was a good crossing route in the back of the end zone on a play that was designed to get the defense going the other direction. McGrath also caught a 10 yard hitch and a 23 yard seam route, but his most impressive play came in the third quarter. McGrath ran a short out, had to rip the pass away from Jason Pierre-Paul, and then outran Pierre-Paul up the field for a big gain.
O’Connell was the first tight end to catch a pass, but failed to do anything after the catch. Colbert’s prominence shows you all you need to know about the production of the tight ends as the Chiefs use them in essentially the same way.
Tynes was successful on his only field goal attempt of 38 yards.
The Chiefs’ rush defense may have been the only bright spot for them in this game. They allowed just 29 total yards on the ground. However, it should be noted that this figure is somewhat misleading, as the pass happy Eagles only called 13 running plays all afternoon.
The Chiefs’ pass defense had a miserable day. They allowed McNabb to throw for 369 total yards, and seemed completely unable to stop the Eagles’ passing attack. They managed one sack and one interception, but failed to get much in the way of pressure on McNabb. On the positive side, the Chiefs did a nice job of defending Westbrook in the short passing game.